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Stabbing pain after gallbladder removal

Pain at the abdomen and incision site is quite common after the surgical removal of the gallbladder. You may also feel shoulder pain due to the air trapped in your belly. Such pain usually goes away within 24 to 48 hours.

If you have stabbing pain after gallbladder removal, you may be in a post-cholecystectomy syndrome.  About 40% of people experience this pain after surgery. Its symptoms are pretty similar to what you experienced before the surgery.

Your surgeon may prescribe you narcotic pain medicine for relief.

Is it normal to have stabbing pain after gallbladder removal?

Every patient’s recovery phase is different from the other person’s. It can take 1 to 4 weeks for your body to heal from the surgery completely. Sharp pain in the gallbladder area is quite normal. For some people, it can be worse in the initial days.

Thus, doctors recommend rest for the first three days and try getting up as soon as possible. Being energetic can help you get up even faster.  But the pain can worsen with specific body movements like climbing stairs or bending your body.

Nobody can tell you better than your body, so listen to it when it tells you to stop.

Causes of stabbing pain after the gallbladder removal surgery

Gallbladder removal is an entirely safe surgical procedure. But like any other procedure, there are chances of a few complications. Here are some chronic and acute signs you can experience after gallbladder removal.

Wound infection

Some people can develop internal infections after gallbladder removal. Common signs of wound infection are severe pain after surgery and leakage from the wound.

Bile leakage

During surgery, special clips are used to close the tube that connects the bile duct to the gallbladder. Fever and sharp pain after surgery are the common symptoms of bile leakage.

Injury to surrounding organs

Surgical instruments can hurt the organs like the liver, blood vessels, and intestines. These injuries are unintentional. Thus it appears later with severe pain. So you must have a follow-up visit to your surgeon.


Bleeding can appear post-operation though it’s rare. If it happens, you will need a second surgery to control it.

Bile duct injury

The bile duct often gets hurt during gallbladder removal, which results in the symptoms like fever and severe pain after surgery.

How to prevent the gallbladder pain?

The few best ways to prevent gallbladder pain are by maintaining a healthy diet. Here are a few foods that can cause problems after gallbladder removal. So try to avoid the high amount of:

  • Sugar
  • Red meat
  • Fried foods
  • Saturated fats
  • Sodium
  • Refined carbohydrates

You should also try eating a healthy diet that consists of the following:

  • Low-fat dairy
  • Lean meats and fish
  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Foods that are high in fiber

In addition, make a scheduled eating routine. Don’t skip meals to lose weight faster. Doing enough exercise and physical activity can reduce the chances of developing gallstones.


Is it normal to have sharp pain after gallbladder removal?

Sometimes people develop wounds after the surgery. The sharp pain can also be a sign of a wound infection, including swelling and redness around the area with stabbing pain.

How long does the internal pain last after the gallbladder removal?

The pain after surgery is quite common after the surgery. You can feel pain in your belly or shoulders due to the trapped air inside your body. The pain goes away within three days to a week.

Can I still have pain after the gallbladder removal?

The gallbladder pain after surgery is very similar to the one before surgery. Some people still experience pain after surgery due to different reasons. It can also cause pancreatitis, which is severe swelling and pain in the pancreas.


Stabbing pain after gallbladder removal is quite rare. Gallbladder removal is a simple procedure and possibly the best way to cure gallbladder diseases. Like any other safe surgery, it can also have possible side effects.

To avoid complications, experts recommend going for a post-surgery appointment to consult your doctor about the recovery phase.

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Rabia Sehar
Rabia Sehar

My name is Rabia Sehar, a passionate writer and blogger. I always spent the greatest part of my time in the library reading books. Have done a bachelor's in life sciences. I am a writer who always wants to explore things and spread awareness with my words. Health article writing is my passion, as my main focus is to help others deal with their health issues and struggles. Writing has always been one of my most reliable strength. When people ask me did you always want to be a writer, I have to say no! I always was a writer.

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